Ben Lecomte is an ultra-endurance swimmer and the first person to complete a cross-Atlantic ocean swim without a kickboard. He has also swum through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to raise awareness for sustainability and the impact of plastic pollution. He was named one of the World’s 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Swimmers in 2019 by the World Open Water Swimming Association.
Some interesting insights from this episode:
He swam over 3,500 miles from Massachusetts to Quiberon, France. The journey took him 73 days, swimming upwards of 10 hours a day, and fighting off sharks and battling 20-foot swells. Swimming 3,500 miles across the Atlantic was about mind over matter. Swimming hours upon hours a day with limited stimuli, your mind has to be even stronger than your body. As a coping mechanism, he had to learn to disassociate his mind from his body so while his physical body was suffering, his mind could be in an entirely different world. He swam across the Atlantic in honor of his father and to raise awareness for cancer. His father’s passing was the kick in the butt he needed to pursue his dreams and not live life with any regrets. Swimming the Pacific (until he had to abort the trip) was actually easier than his Atlantic crossing 20 years earlier since the older you get, the more you learn to control the mind and mentally deal with the obstacles along the way. He swam 400 miles through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the highest concentration of human-made discarded plastic in the world. It was like looking at the sky at night during a snowstorm. You are surrounded by millions of little particles of plastic. He cut open fish in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and found pieces of plastic. “You cannot really know your limit until you challenge your limit.” “Excellence is like beauty… it’s in the eyes of the beholder.”